1

I was reading a sentence for the subjunctive when learning in German -

Der Konjunktiv II des Verbs sein wird gebildet, indem man in der Vergangenheitsform den Vokal im Stamm durch einen Umlaut ersetzt. Allerdings wird bei den Formen ich und er/sie/es noch die Endung -e angefügt:

Now, I want to break this sentence down individually.

I see the first sentence is a passive sentence (werden + past participle):

Der Konjunktiv II des Verbs sein wird gebildet

which I translate to be

The Subjunctive II of the verb "sein" are formed

but the next part is confusing in the word order.

indem man in der Vergangenheitsform den Vokal im Stamm durch einen Umlaut ersetzt.

I know the verb I'm looking for is ersetzt (ersetzen = to replace) but I can't identify in what tense this verb is being used.

Also, beyond that, I seem to work out the sentence translates roughly as:

by replacing in the past tense, the vowel in the stem with an Umlaut.

My question is what tense is ersetzt being used in?

3

"Ersetzt" is in the present tense here. Take the part of the sentence you are having trouble with:

... indem man in der Vergangenheitsform den Vokal im Stamm durch einen Umlaut ersetzt

Because it's a subordinate clause the verb goes to the end of the clause. You can rewrite the relevant part as

man ersetzt den Vokal im Stamm durch einen Umlaut

and as you can see, it's present tense

  • does the "indem" push the ersetzt to the end of the sentence, similar to a "weil"? – vik1245 Jan 21 at 23:58
  • yes it's the same idea – PiedPiper Jan 22 at 0:00
  • similar to any conjunction for a subordinate clause ("weil", "falls", "bevor", "obwohl", "damit", "dass", ...) as well as relative clauses – Hagen von Eitzen Jan 23 at 1:30

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